Monday, January 27, 2014

I Am Batman!!!

Holla Familia!!
So I just realized last week didn't have a title... Awkward... Ha,ha. I usually write my letter and then add a title... but obviously I forgot last week! or I just couldn't think of one. eh. Either way.
So this week has been pretty cool!  We have been trying to find Less Actives for... Well forever. So I guess I should say: we continued our search for Less Actives this week. But this week I decided to be more obedient - I have been neglecting 2x2ing(knocking on the houses next to the house we planned on seeing) around houses cause it's been 'Freaking' cold. But We were promised blessings and miracles, so I was like alrighty let's do this thing. Thus I have an awesome cold/lung flu! YES!!! Anywho, we found two new Investigators this week due to that! It was awesome! Now we pray that they will be there for our follow up appointment! We also picked up two Former Investigators. So that was cool too! It's been a good week! Oh, The reason I named this one "I Am Batman!!" Is because that is totally what I sound like right now. It is pretty funny. Imagine in the Batman voice trying to tell someone that their 'family can be together forever.' Yes that did happen. I guess it is one way to get Sister Thomson to start talking more ha,ha.
So one of the Less Active ladies we try and see every week, we taught her the last half of the Plan of Salvation, and we asked her if she had any questions. She said the usual no. Then out of the blue she asked "Why is it important to go to church? Everyone keeps putting such an emphasis on it. Why is it Important? I know we meet people there and such, but.. yeah" it was so out of the blue that it kind of took us off guard. Yeah we meet people at church, but that isn't the point. The point is that it is the time to remember the Savior and to partake of the Sacrament. To cleanse and sanctify ourselves, It also helps keep the Sabbath day holy. It gives you that special time to think about Him. Now some question how can I do that with 1-6 kids running around me, or I don't even have kids and the kids around me are distracting me. Yes. Children can be distracting. But, if the Spirit is there, you will grow. Even if you don't hear the words. Church isn't just for you. It's for others as well. You teach and you help others learn and grow. YOU contribute to their spiritual growth. It is important for you to be there! It is interesting how we can lose sight of that. It is really easy to lose sight of it, because there are a million things we could be doing during that time. But we have to realize that God gave us this opportunity and chance to live on this earth, and we can't thank him by reading our scriptures, praying and keeping the commandments everyday, and going to church once a week!? When we put God first and put what he wants first then we will get what we want. If we want our business/school to move forward, do you think God doesn't know that? He want's to bless us, but we need to let him in, in order to receive his blessings.
This is a Little/ Large Clip from Elder Ballard's talk "Face the Future with Faith and Hope":

Seek First the Kingdom of God

You will have two choices. Will your motivation to build and acquire the blessings of the Lord be for personal gratification, for the recognition of men, and for power, influence, and self-aggrandizement? Or will your motivation be to glorify God, to work to help usher in the growth and expansion of His Church?

Those who seek riches to build up their own egos will find their treasure to be slippery and easily lost in unwise ways (see Helaman 13:31). The welfare of their souls will be in great jeopardy. Jacob, an obedient younger brother of Nephi, warned us:

“And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they.
“… Do ye suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you.
“… Let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!” (Jacob 2:13, 14, 16).

Jacob then put our motivation to acquire wealth in the proper perspective with a promise:

“But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
“And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted” (Jacob 2:18–19).

The Lord is not telling us that we should not be prosperous or that prosperity is a sin. On the contrary, He has always blessed His obedient children. But He is telling us that we should seek prosperity only after we seek, find, and serve Him. Then, because our hearts are right, because we love Him first and foremost, we will choose to invest the riches we obtain in building His kingdom.

If you choose to seek riches for the sake of riches, you will fall short. You will never be satisfied. You will be empty, never finding true happiness and lasting joy.

The trial of your faith in the next few years will likely not be that you lack the material things of this world. Rather it will be in choosing what to do with the temporal blessings you receive.

Of today’s younger generation, President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) said:
“For nearly six thousand years, God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the second coming of the Lord. …
“… God has saved for the final inning some of His strongest … children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly.”3

President Thomas S. Monson said, “You are some of our Heavenly Father’s strongest children, and He has saved you to come to the earth ‘for such a time as this’ [Esther 4:14].”4

To be a vital part of the “marvelous work and a wonder” (2 Nephi 25:17) of these last days, you must submit your will to God, letting it be swallowed up in His will. As you “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men … feasting upon the word of Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20), searching diligently, praying always, and believing, then as the Lord promises, “all things shall work together for your good” (D&C 90:24).
Now, If what the Prophets say is important and always come to pass... Well then. Where are our priorities? Something to munch on.

 I had an opportunity to share my testimony with Sister Thomson this week about loving all people. There was a story that I listened to several months ago at a meeting. They showed a video with Elder Holland in it. He was talking to missionaries or a group of people. He was then relating the story of Peter. How after the Savior died, Peter looked at the other disciples and was like "well.... lets go fishing" They went back to what they knew how to do. They no longer had the Savior there to tell them what to do. Then one night They were out on the sea fishing and they had caught nothing. Then they heard a voice from the shore to cast their nets on the other side, and instantly their nets were filled. Peter left the boat immediately and headed for the shore because he knew it was the Savior. When he got there the Savior had Breakfast and everything all ready for them. He then talked with Peter. "Peter, Do you love me?" "Yes Lord, you know that I love thee" "Feed My Sheep." he asked Peter three times. I have thought about this several times since I watched it. For several months in fact! If I was sitting with the Savior and he asked if I loved him. Would I say yes?  How could I think even to say no? Would I recognize him? If I was to love the Savior, then I needed to leave my "nets" behind. I applied the story to missions. Because I asked Sister Thomson who she was, I also asked if she would share the Gospel with me if I was not a member. She then replied. " As a missionary or as myself?". The thought bothered me, and it always has. Since the beginning it has bothered me, before my mission, during my mission, and probably will continue after my mission. Being a missionary shouldn't be different than who you are. There should be no dividing line. Before I came on my mission I saw some missionaries who came home and they were essentially like Peter. Once they were off their mission they went back to their "nets" and it bothered me. I did not like the idea of putting on an 'act' of being a Missionary. You need to Become a missionary, and once you become one you can never go back. I imagine the Savior saying to Peter "If you love me then why did you go back to the nets? Go back to the old ways of not feeding my sheep? You did it for two years (or 18 months)! You learned so much! You grew! You loved me! but then when I was gone (the badge was taken off) you went back to what you did. You aren't sharing the Gospel with people. Why? Do You Love Me?"
A mission is not about being a good actor missionary. It's about becoming a missionary. The only way you can do that is through love. Loving the Savior. Loving the Savior enough to love those he has placed in your path to Love. It doesn't end here. Those who don't/ didn't serve missions you are held to the same responsibility. Being a missionary means loving the Savior. Loving him enough to share his Gospel. Yeah. Missionaries have two years or 18 months to learn about the Savior in such a way that will fortify them if they truly are diligent and faithful.
We have our entire life to learn about the Savior, and if we know the Savior we will know the Father. The Son only does the will of the Father.
I'm so proud and happy with my family. They are the best missionaries ever. They have told me little stories of missionary work that they have done. From the smallest things such as smiling at people, to inviting friends to their houses to learn about the gospel. Everything goes a long way. I have an awesome family, and it grows day by day.
I love you all, and I hope you all give the time to learn and grow closer to the Savior now. Build that foundation Now. Another quote from Dieter f. Uchtdorf, " The Best Time to Plant a Tree":
An old proverb says, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now."      There is something wonderful and hopeful about the word 'now'. There is something empowering about the fact that if we choose to decide now, we can move forward at this very moment. Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be-- not only 20 years from now but also for all eternity.

I Loves you All! and I hope you are having a wonderful day! make it a great one! EVERYDAY!!

Sister Karen Call

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

No Subject :)

Holla Familia!!!
We had a few fun experiences this week. We helped some members move all of their stuff upstairs. Looked for members on the roster to see if they still existed. Visited Less Actives. Went on a Blitz thingy with the Blacksburg Sisters.   It has been a pretty fun/ interesting week.
Well, the first thing that happened this week! President Pitt came to our district and we got to have an interview with him. It is always nice to talk to the Mission President. He is such a loving, kind, amazing president. I'm going to be so sad when he leaves in June. It's going to be pretty tough.
We were given a list at Elder Nielson's conference thing last week on things we personally needed to change/ give up. It was rather hard to come up with a list when there is probably a hundred things that I wish I could change... but as soon as you try and think of something... you can't.... what can I say... I must be perfect.... NOT! It has been quite frustrating to try and think of things that I need to change. It seems I have been trying to fix the same thing my entire mission and I just haven't changed it yet. But that's not how it works. Real change comes with sacrifice. Which is hard. It's not easy to give up doing things that you are so used to doing. You did them all the time at home, and they weren't really a 'big' problem.  In fact to some they weren't even labeled a problem at all. Change is difficult, especially when you are going into a 'foreign world'. I can see how hard it would be for new members of the church. Not only does everyone seem perfect, but they speak a different language too!!! Who knew that they didn't serve Stake at the Stake Centers!? Crazy I know. It has been pretty interesting thinking about change. We all think we know the destination or the end that we want to get too, but in reality that is how "the perfect end" would be... Exactly how we planned... doesn't exactly ever happen. I imagine you have heard of the phrase "taking a step into the dark" that we all need to in order to learn new things. Well, I have been thinking about it. You know how darkness engulfs, drowns, and tries to destroy everything? Well if you step into the dark... what do you think the darkness is going to try and do? Right, Destroy you. But do you know why we don't get crushed? destroyed? curl up in a ball and start crying? (most of the time) It's because we aren't really stepping into complete darkness. There is the Scripture "Ye are the light of the world" now... if you are the light of the world and you cannot be hid. Then that light must be coming from within you. YOU are a light, the truths you hold and know are what glow within you. So when you step into the dark, darkness has no power over you because you are a light moving forward. From Grace to Grace. Continually moving forward, because darkness has no power over the light. So when we move forward with the hope and faith that we have already in the light that we have. Obtaining more light is easier.
Anywho... That is just my thoughts on the things of change that President asked us about. I know what "perfect being" I want to become, but how to flipping get there... I haven't quite figured out.
After President we went and did something different and fun. We went to a Part Member Family Jackie and Bill. They are the most ADORABLE COUPLE EVER!!! just saying. Anywho, last time we were with them, we said that Sister Thomson would bring her Viola and she would play for them. So we did. It was pretty awesome. The music brought the spirit and Bill talked about how Hymns were kind of like a prayer. YES!! So as Sister Thomson played I at first read the words to the hymns, cause I'm no amazing singer, but then again... hymns just don't have the same feeling when you just read it. So Guess who started singing? We both did! how crazy is that. It was a neat experience to do that though. Hopefully it opened their hearts enough to start thinking about coming out to church again.
After the Comptons we had another fun experience. We moved some members from their downstairs to the upstairs. They had been living in their basement, for a year! now this isn't a huge basement. It was just a single room. With two bunk beds, a king size bed, and a whole bunch of dressers, and All of the kitchen supplies and such. It was the size of the Playroom at home. It was TINY!! bless them for dealing with that for a year!! So it was nice to help them move everything upstairs to a newly floored house. So much more space... And you get your own room.
Now The Blitz. So Sister Richards is the new STL in my area so she asked if we wanted to do a blitz. I was like "YEAH!!! what's a blitz?" so for this blitz we were able to switch companions for a while. Essentially it was like a mini exchange for about 3 hours. I got to work with Sister Richards again! It was nice. The stressful part about it was that I needed to plan for two companionships. That I could deal with not doing again. But it was worth it in the end! Sister Thomson had a good time with Sister Reed and were able to have a few neat experiences with tracting. I had a few neat experiences with Sister Richards tracting. The first house we went to was a referral. The lady who answered the door came outside (oh by the way it was snowing, lightly), cause she had crazy barking dogs inside. We then asked her about her religious life and she said that she was a 7th day Adventist. Sweet. Unfortunately I don't' really know what that means. So we asked her what she believed in. Essentially they follow the Word of Wisdom, and they believe in being an example of Christ, not just on Sundays but everyday. So we talked to her for a bit, and then she started making the signals of "I'm going inside now". She said it was a cool thing that we were doing and that we were planting a lot of seeds for Christ to come and collect later... Seeds!!! So I pulled out The Book of Mormon and I was like "Hey, that just reminded me of a scripture! You mind if I read it to you?" She hesitated for a moment and then was like "Sure" So I read her Alma 32 about faith being like a seed and such. Her countenance kinda changed at that moment, and Sister Richards said that we hand out Book of Mormons for free and if she would like to have it. She agreed and took it from us! Sweet! Potential Investigator! We will be trying her again in a few weeks. Then we tracted another street. and on this street we met a lady named Nikki. She is pretty sweet as well, we hopefully will meet her this week. Then I will tell you how things go :) She did tell us about how her grandfather was a Mormon once, and now he goes to the Church of God. Awkward... it was funny cause Nikki's daughter kept saying 'Awkward' the entire time we were there. It helped break the ice a bit! So that was a neat experience to meet her!
Our next adventure was that we went out with the Sister Burner (the Bishops wife) to find some people on the directory who lived in the ‘ Land Desolation’. It's not really called that, but it's really far away and we don't go out there very much because of how far away it is. We had an adventure of finding out that most of them didn't live there anymore, and that even some of the houses didn't exist! Yay! At least we didn't waste all of our miles driving back and forth. We probably drove over 100 miles that day. Eww. Fun road trip.
Well, things have been moving this week. Lots to do. Lots to Learn. Lots to Love. I don't know where to really start either! So it's going to be fun! It feels like this week has been a lot longer than it really has been. Which is good. If things were going by really quickly I would start to panic and that would not be good.
Well I hope you are all doing well! I Love you all! Be Good, Be Happy, Smile Often cause you know what? ..... you are a Child of God, and that is awesome!

Loves you!!!
Sister Karen Call

Monday, January 13, 2014

Like A Broken Vessel

Holla Familia!
This week has been once again a roller coaster ride!! EEE!!!! Such crazy things happened this week you have no freaking idea!!! I probably wont' even be able to describe how things were. But I'll give you the best of what I can.
So the awesome thing about this week!!! We finally got two new investigators!!! We have been high and dry for several weeks now, and it has been quite a challenge on trying to describe how lessons are supposed to go and how you need to teach... if you never have been to a lesson. It's one thing teaching members, but teaching non-members is a whole different ball game. The two we have found are pretty awesome. They at the moment are "content" where they are at. Everyone here is content at where they are at. So we kinda have trouble pushing people out of their comfort zones. But one of them; his name is Bill. He is married to Jackie who is a less active member. They haven't been coming because Bill had cancer, and Jackie's Alzheimer's has gotten.. well.. bad. It was sad to see Bill talk about his wife. He loves her sooo much, He gets all emotional as he talks about Jackie. They are the cutest couple ever. They are what I would define as True Love. Now Bill just needs to become a member and they get everything straightened out and be Sealed and become an Eternal Love. Bill and Jackie are both retired Police Force. Bill was the one who walked around with the Canine Unit. and Jackie developed crime scene photos. So they are both pretty tough. They also have guns all over the place. Anywho. They are pretty legit.
The other is Kelly. She is an interesting lady. She is also married to a member. But her husband works and lives in West Virginia and comes home on the weekends. So she has a hard time being a single mom. Everyone she knows is Mormon. Literally. Everyone. The members in the ward call her the "dry Mormon". She told us very clearly last time that she was Methodist (Joseph Smith almost joined himself with the Methodist before he discovered the everlasting gospel). She described it as like being a not so strict Catholic.... Which makes no sense at all. The first thing that ran through my head was that they didn't do all the procedure things, and were just heavy drinkers... That is probably bad of me.... but So far every Catholic I have met is a heavy drinker. But, she is super curious about what Mormons believe. She hasn't asked her husband anything because he is always gone, and she doesn't think he knows very much. So we get to go and answer all of her questions!!!
The other thing that we did this week was canning apples!! Yay! good old home memories... only Mom did everything... :D So I ran a little hand machine called the apple peeler, corer, slicer. SOOO helpful! Just sayin!! Sister Thomson started off on it, but.. she kept having struggles and cutting herself, so we switched spots (I had originally been just getting all of the spots out of them and left over peel, and breaking them in half). So I cranked through a Bushel of apples in half an hour. I felt so cool and my arm hurt too. Not sure if that is good or bad... It is signifying that I need to work out more he,he.
Now for the exciting things that happened this week! So on Wednesday We went and visited two Less Active members Jessica and Paulette. Once we were done teaching them we went back to our apartment to get ready for our dinner appointment. When I walked in there was this little "Squish" sound as I stepped on the rug... Funny thing I was humming/ singing "Give Said the Little Stream" earlier that day... and now we had a little stream running through our living room and kitchen. Luckily our apartment is all tile except for a few rugs. The Rug in the Kitchen actually saved us! it soaked up most of the water before it started to run through more on the other side. The hard part was trying to find out where the water was coming from. It literally looked like a puddle in the middle of the room! We then found out that it was coming through the walls... so we followed the "little stream" and found the head of it... it was coming through the base of a cement wall... NOW WHAT!!! haha. So I would just like to say how grateful I am to be living under awesome members the Kisers! The Kisers came downstairs and helped us out. Sister Kiser brought down her vacuum mop. that could suck up water... I went at it! I probably filled that vacuum over a hundred times. It didn't hold very much water... probably half a gallon or less. So we spent the rest of the evening sucking up water and trying to figure out how to turn the little stream off. We had called the City to have them come and turn the water off, but they couldn't because everyone around us was having the same problem and the Church just down the street had all of it's pipes burst... So we turned off all the water ourselves and tried to figure out which pipe was broken. Because once again: the stream was coming from behind a cement wall! So eventually the stream stopped.... because they turned the water off to all the houses on the block. So that night I woke up every two hours to make sure the water didn't start running during the middle of the night and ruin all the walls. So I got no sleep Wednesday night, and then Thursday night we had to get ready to go to West Virginia at four in the morning for a Mission Conference. So I got like 5 hours in two days. IT WAS AWESOME!! So I felt like a zombie pretty much all Friday evening.
The Mission Conference WAS AWESOME!! Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the 70 (the one who gave "Hastening the Lords Game Plan", BYU quarterback back in the day, really tall) came to speak with us. Sister Pitt started off the Conference talking about Praying with Faith. Ether 12:12. If there is no faith there cannot be miracles. In order to have a complete understanding of Faith: we need to believe that God Exists, and have a correct idea of His character, and have an actual knowledge that we are doing his will. We need to Really Know Him!! Faith is increased through Diligence. We will Want to do all good when we really understand and love the Lord. President Pitt followed after her and talked about The Atonement for Addictions D&C 58:43 2Nephi 25 Alma 42 Mosiah 26:30. Moroni 6:8. That moment of being 'Clean' can come back. That Hope. Remember and work towards it, and then Exceed it. We cannot look at ourselves so critically. We are all learning and growing. Know that the Lord is behind you helping you along your way and He is stronger than what is standing ahead of you. Patience in all things.
Elder Nielsen started off with an experience that he had. Working with Elder Cook in the Missionary Placement thingy. He watched/ participated in the process of giving 321 missionaries their mission call. There were two monitors; one had the picture and the information on the missionary and the second had all of the missions. ALL of the missions. Elder Nielsen watched Elder Cook for a while as he looked at each missionary read through their information and then would turn to the second monitor and point at a mission and say they are going there. After doing it a few times. He turned to Elder Nielsen and asked "Do you think you got it yet?" Elder Nielsen then started paying more attention. A short time later Elder Cook then turned and said "You got this one?" so Elder Nielsen took a turn at doing it. He looked at the missionary and read the information. He then looked at the Missions and pointed "That one". Elder Cook looked at him and said "Right Country, Wrong Mission" So Elder Nielsen started to pay even more attention to not only what he was seeing but what he was feeling. There is no other experience such as this. To Do the will of the Lord. To not just "I think so" but "I Know So" That this is what the Lord wants us to do. We need to get our self In tune! There is nobody in sin who is happy, we need to fight the battle against Satan for our soul to do the will of God. If we let him win we will have heartache, and misery. If We Win we will become the Special Servant that the Lord is looking for. As a Missionary this is the most simple part of my life. It's just me, and the Savior. It is my time to be fully converted to the Gospel. To fully understand. Elder Nielsen told us that if we Cannot waste a minute! Change NOW! Work, Love, Serve!! Are you part of the Problem or Solution? We are all preparing for war (Alma 50) This Spiritual, and soon to be very real battle against us. We have got to be in Control. We need to make sure that we are Converted. So when the trials come, we are prepared for them and that we will be able to lift those who are around us.
As Missionaries and Members we need to become Master Teachers of Doctrines. He then shared a scripture in D&C 128:22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
I would just like to pause at this moment and express how good he is at pumping people up!! Flip!! Go Forward and On to Victory!! haha yeah. Anywho. Hey then gave us an equation to work with: Saving Ordinances + Associated Covenants = Exaltation & Eternal Life
We are all somewhere in this equation there is somewhere always to move forward. I'll share a few with you:
Baptism: Acts 2:38; Alma 7:14; Romans 6:4; Power to Remit Sin
Confirmation: John 14:26; Moroni 10:4-5; Power to receive revelation from Heaven
Priesthood: 1Peter 2:5,9; D&C 13:1; D&C 107:18-19; Power to act in the name of Jesus Christ
Endowment: D&C 110:8-10; Talmage "The House of the Lord"; Power to Become like God
Sealing: D&C 132:19-20; John 10:33-35; Psalms 82:6; Power to be a God.

Progress is the key. We need to Grow and Understand. Some may be at the point where they have accomplished all of these Ordinances, and have the associated covenants along with them. But there is always more. Our neighbors, friends, Visiting teacher, Home Teacher, Children, Everyone Around you! Is somewhere on this path, and it is up to you to help them progress forward. It is up to you to help them make the next step. To be United with them and move forward with them. We cannot waste a minute! If there is something not right and it is preventing us from moving forward with these Ordinances: FIX IT NOW! NOWWWWW!!!
Open your vision of the horizon, see how beautiful everything is around you. See how everyone around you is a Child of God and they need to grow just as much as you need too. There is no Neutral Ground. Only Forward or Backward, and it is up to us which way we go.
My goodness... call of repentance.

Now I will explain why I titled my Email Like a Broken Vessel. No, I'm not depressed, but I have had that experience this week. That feeling of falling into a pit of despair and not knowing how to get out of it. I have been trying to get things to work and to understand why things have been happening, but no matter what, it just got harder and harder. Until Sunday. I finally talked to the Elders about what I was feeling. Elder Raffensparger and Elder Brandon. Are two awesome missionaries. We had a long discussion about the Atonement, Depression, and Priesthood Blessings. I will share with you another time what I learned from them. But I would like all of you to share with me Your thoughts on the Atonement. One of the Scriptures I am studying right now is Alma 7:11-12. Take a look at it. And share with me your thoughts, scriptures, quotes, anything and everything. The Atonement is KEY to everything.     I don't think I have ever had so many deep conversations in my life until my mission, and it's kinda freaky. The thought of Satan and his idea on the Plan. We were talking about Pride and how the root of Pride is Fear. Now I always knew that Satan was Prideful because he wanted all of the glory to go to himself, instead of God. What I did not click in my mind was that Pride comes because of Fear. The Fear of being forgotten. Satan didn't necessarily disagree with the plan. He was afraid of not making it. He had Fear. It is what he knows, understands, and uses against us. Just something to brain munch on for a while.
Anywho, After our long conversation I requested a Priesthood Blessing. I am SO grateful for Priesthood Blessings! After receiving this one, my feelings of despair and emptiness literally almost vanished and I again felt at peace that everything was going to be okay. I was uplifted, and it was Awesome. I was at the point of breaking. and now I feel whole again. After this Spiritual re-boost you could say, and Sister Thomson and I had gone home. Sister Thomson broke down. I know that if I hadn't received that blessing I would have cracked last night. I would not have been able to think things through clearly and in the way that they needed to be done. We had a good conversation about a lot of things. I did read 'Like a Broken Vessel' to her. and we talked about a few other things. It was a learning and growing experience. It opened my eyes to a few things this week. Lots to work on, Lots to do. I love the Lord and all that he does for me. He really is watching out for me out here. I have felt the extra measure of strength this week of being able to hold on this entire week and receive that Priesthood Blessing. Things happen for a reason. It is up to us how we react to them.
I know that my Redeemer lives. That He Loves Me, and Knows Me. He will not give me something greater than I can bear. I can and do all things with the Lord. He is the Only way to continue progressing forward. He is the Light in the Darkness that we need to continually have our sights on.
I love you all very much and am so grateful for the examples you guys have been to me. Continue doing missionary: Work, Loving, and Serving.

Sister Karen Call

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Beginning of a New Year !!

Holla Familia!!!
So I am so sorry for the lack of an email to all y'all for the past few weeks.. or well... pretty lame short ones. Anywho. In all honesty Missionary work was super down hill during the Holidays. No one was home... or if they were home... well they were home with their families and wanted to spend time with them :)   We were kinda like the back up to a back up plan for people. Fun I know. So on Christmas it was pretty great. In the morning we went to the Burningham's.  They are an awesome stellar family; that just is awesome, I don't know how to even describe them. They are super busy though. Sister Burningham is the Relief Society President, and Brother Burningham is the assistant ward clerk and a Dentist!!!   They do a ton in their days. But anywho, they invited us over for Christmas Morning and they got us stockings with toothbrushes, and toothpaste, and floss. Don't worry everyone I will have good dental hygiene for the next... well really long time. I could make an awesome floss ladder with all the floss I got for Christmas this year :) 
While we were at the Burningham's, Sister Thomson played her viola! She plays it awesome!!! She doesn't realize how well she plays! I wish I knew how to play a string instrument, but at the same time... I don't mind just sitting in the crowd listening and being filled with de spirit :) Sister Burningham's older sister was there for Christmas as well. She is a pretty awesome lady as well.   She was telling us how she and her husband just got a job with Hershey in Pennsylvania and how they have like a boarding school there for kids who want to have a better life than the one that their family can or is giving them. How hard it is that it is a completely religious free schooling area? So they have to be really careful on what they say to the kids because they can get fired if they share their beliefs. But she told us how neat it is to work with kids that want a change in their life. They want something better. They are actually motivated. It's sad that they aren't allowed a Religious aspect of things. They go to a "non-denominational" sermon type thing on Sundays. But it just isn't the same, as being filled with light. But hey, at least they have Something!
After the Burningham's we headed over to the Crockett's to make phone calls home. Funny thing that happened! Skype CRASHED!! well... everything crashed at their house. and they even have like their own internet connection system. So it was weird. Like none of the missionaries were supposed to call home at that time. So I did get to call home though so that was pretty great :) I got to hear Cindy and half of the families updates on stuff. I was kinda just soaking it all in. Not really saying anything. I didn't really know what to say. But I do know that I love my family and that they love me, and that even though I didn't get to talk to all of them that I hope they know that I love them very much! All of my family! They are a blessing to my life, that I have not yet come to fully appreciate or understand. They have taught me so much about different aspects of the gospel. Change is an awesome thing. So Christmas was pretty fun, not as fun as back home because there was no fireplace... :) but there were pretty cool missionaries: Elder Simmons, Dean, Raffensparger, and Hughes. As well as the Missionary Couple: Beagley's.  and the Crockett's are pretty cool. The Crockett's bought us presents as well they are such giving people. They do so much for us missionaries. 
Christmas should be remembered all through the year. In our hearts. A forever giving. What can we give to another, what can I change to become better; who can I be a friend too? It's a forever changing process. We need to remember Christ all year long. Not just twice a year. Easter and Christmas. Not just on Sundays. But always in all things that people do. I guess I don't blame others for not remembering Christ all year long. I know that before my mission it didn't even register in my mind. But when we make an effort to see Christ and God working in our lives Oh how we are blessed or more happy are we. We can see that God does really care about us and what we go through. He cares about the little things. Because they matter to us. God is our loving Heavenly Father - I have learned of his character here on my mission. Who he really is to me. Who Christ is to me. Who others are to me. I have never asked a 'What If' question since deciding this Gospel was true. I do ask the questions of Who, Where, and Why. But these questions bring me closer to God. because they are something I sincerely want to answer and understand. They don't always come in the way I want them too. Like a billboard, or a spiritual shovel to the head. But I learn it the way God knows that I will remember and grow from it. 
Another Experience I had.. Was on New Years day. because we didn't do anything on New Years Eve... well we did, but learning how to play pokemon on my mission doesn't really sound like a thing that needs to be shared. :) Oh but we did find out where everyone was going for Transfers. At least one person in each companionship was leaving in our zone. Except Sister Thomson and I we are the only one that isn't changing. Sister Sholle is leaving (she is our STL) and guess who is replacing her? Sister Richards!!!!!! My Mother!!! (aka my trainer). AAHHH!!!! I totally guessed it too. I just knew that she was coming here. I don't know why. But she is an amazing missionary and this area needs her. Anywho, we found out where everyone was going and then we headed home because we weren't allowed to stay up all night as we thought we could (we stayed out till 10!)    Sooo on New Years was P-day because Transfers was the next day. We did all of the usual stuff, but we knew that everyone was leaving. So it was a bit sad... But also all of the Libraries and such places were closed as well. Soooo... yeah. Anywho, For our last P-day together with everyone we watched "Ephraims Rescue". Such a good movie. 17 Miracles is pretty awesome too. But it just was something special to watch "Ephraim's Rescue". After the Movie was over, Sister Reed and Sholle were going through their messages that they received during the movie and they found some pretty devastating news to end their transfer on. One of their Investigators dropped them, and another lady in the ward that they had been visiting every week for two transfers had died. They didn't know how, or why. But things have just gone so down hill these past few weeks that all emotions went loose. It was a very emotional moment. The Elders stood awkwardly there because they can't really give any comfort... I myself am not very good at comforting people, I'm still kind of an awkward person around emotions. It still isn't my strong point, but I discovered something as I tried my best to comfort them. The importance of Love. I have learned while I have been out here, how to look into peoples eyes. To see what is on the inside. It's kinda freaky sometimes, when it happens. I can't remember what I said or talked about. but I knew that I discovered something about Love. Wonders and miracles happen with the key which is love. Charity. Embrace it. To truly know and understand it and to be able to give/show it to others you must understand and know how it applies in your life. De love that our Heavenly Father has for you, me, and everyone. Love is the Key to figuring things out and making it work. God loved us so much that he found out a way for us to be able to return to him. As you give love, You must learn how to accept it as well. God loves us, but we must learn how to accept it or understand it. Love is such a complicated yet simple thing. It has boggled my mind forever. I know it is important. Just getting that through my head is the hard part. 
So that is how this Transfer ended. In tears and learning different things. 
This new Transfer is something different and amazing. The different part is that our phone has been having problems. So we decided that it was time to get a new one... unfortunately they decided to deactivate and send our activated phone in the mail to us. It was supposed to arrive last Saturday... It still hasn't come... SOOO having no phone is awesome! NOT! you don't realize how much you use it until it is GONE! This is why I cherish our car now, because I don't want it to go away. It's flipping cold out here, but there is no snow. But the amazing thing about this Transfer is the difference in the Spirit. With the new Missionaries. This area received the powerhouse of missionaries, and you can feel it. We had our first district meeting on Saturday (two days after Transfers) I saw Sister Richards for the first time.... in oh such a long time!! It was wonderful seeing her. The Spirit that was in that meeting was awesome. It is going to be a good Transfer. I just need to learn how to change to follow with this spirit. I have lost all things and I am ready to gain new. It has been a struggle this last transfer, but I am ready for a change. But it's gunna be a hecka lot of work. 
 My Motto for this time is: You haven't failed until you quit trying; Live, laugh, love, llamas!
I love you all. I pray for each of you. I hope you are all doing well. Be good!!!

Sister Karen Call

Starting the New Year out with some service for the Primary
Getting off to a good start:

Thursday, January 2, 2014


So sorry everyone!! These past two weeks have been crazy aka. We haven't had any computer time. Christmas was awesome thanks to my awesomely wonderful family who did the 12 days of Christmas for me. I opened it on Christmas Eve because that is when it arrived :) but I have loved slowly going through and reading all of the letters they have been quite wonderful!
I don't have any more time but I hope you all have a wonderful New Year! and that you set a goal of how or what you can give more to the Savior this year! 

I love you all! and If you ever need anything let me know!! 
Hopefully next week won't be as crazy and I will be able to write everyone! 
Ohhhh and Elder Nelson from the 70 (the one who gave the exclamation talk in general conference) Is coming to our mission!!!! yay!!! so that is all the happiness I can give for right now :) 

Sister Karen Call